Goji berries which are also known as Chinese Wolfberries, Tibetan goji, Mede berries, or Murali (India) are orange-red berries that come from scrubs that are native to China. They are also found in moderate and sub-tropical regions of China, Himalayas and Mongolia. These berries can be eaten raw, dried or cooked and are also used in
- herbal teas and medicine.
Goji Berries are very rich in:
- amino acids,
- vitamins, A, C, E, B6, B1 and B2,
- flavonoids and trace minerals.
Goji Berries for Diabetes? YES!
. Improved vision Besides improving vision, the berries also make the eyes more adaptable to various environments, less prone to soreness and fatigue and more resistant to infections and diseases.
• Diabetic retinopathy Goji berries protect the eyes from diabetic retinopathy which is a very serious diabetes-related disease which can even lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is a result of high glucose levels in the eyes resulting in the death of retinal cells due to oxidation of proteins. The berries contain a compound known as taurine which prevents loss of eyesight by protecting the retinal cells.
• Macular degeneration Macular degeneration is a disease which causes loss of vision in the center of the visual field and it is commonly associated with diabetes and its complications. Goji berries are very rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids and zeaxanthin which are vital in protecting and nourishing the macular. Therefore, eating goji berries is a great preventive measure for people who are at a higher risk of developing macular degeneration such as diabetics because these oxidants are easily absorbed from the berries.
• Eye fatigue and soreness Eating goji berries helps your eyes adjust rapidly to various levels of darkness because they revitalize the eyes quickly. This makes you less overwhelmed by the bright sun and less vulnerable in dark areas. The berries not only make your vision sharper but they can also help you when driving at night because they also fight eye fatigue. Carotenoids which give the berries a bright red pigment are a great source of vitamin A and they also act as antioxidants. Besides preventing eye disease, the carotenoids in these healthy berries are extremely beneficial for people who have already been diagnosed with diabetes related eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Although these conditions may not disappear completely, these healthy berries make them more bearable.
. Antioxidant Well, we all know how good antioxidants are for us! Goji berries play a very critical role as an antioxidant which lowers the risk of heart-related complications as well as preventing other age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. This is mainly because the antioxidants are very effective in minimizing damage from the free radicals that damage DNA and injure cells. The protective effects on DNA damages oxidative stress are a result of the reduction in the levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. The Chinese and Mongolians have been using goji berries for centuries to improve longevity and treat various health problems such as diabetes, hepatitis, cancer, male infertility, eye disorders and immune system disorders. Their antioxidant and anti-aging properties nourish the blood and are also used as tonic for kidneys, lungs and the liver.
For a great afternoon snack – try mixing some Goji berries with almonds or other raw nuts – yum!!